Yes, there are lakes underwater but you don't want to swim in them
News 6 meteorologist explains phenomenon
There are many mysteries that lie deep in Earth's oceans. Scientists have captured wild pictures of the creatures that live there.
Oceanographers have even discovered dozens of cataracts -- you read that right -- or underwater waterfalls that flow for miles. Did you know lakes can form on the seabed? That means there's a body of water under a body of water. It's a real thing. They're known as brine pools.
Let's talk about the science, taking it all the way back to the Jurassic period. When dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Around 145 million to 200 million years ago, the Gulf of Mexico was a shallow sea that dried up.
A layer of salt was left behind, and it wasn't thin. We're talking about 5 miles deep of preserved ground that a Tyrannosaurus Rex could have walked on. Now, add water from other oceans back to that preserved ground, plus all the baggage, such as plants and sediment.
Basically, it added up to the point where the preserved, salty ground started to move.
This is known as salt tectonics. Sometimes, deposits from the salt layer seep up into the ocean water. The Jurassic layer is about five times saltier than seawater so when it seeps into the water surrounding it, it creates a bubble or dome. This is what gives the underwater lake its look. You can actually see ripples on the surface of the pools and even a shoreline on larger lakes that form.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports the lakes span the ocean floor up to 12 miles.
But don't go making any deep sea adventure plans. These lakes are not the kind you would want to venture into. Names like the “Jurassic Jacuzzi” or “Pit of Despair” should give you a hint at what can happen.
Plus, the shoreline isn't exactly an underwater paradise, as it's lined with bacteria, and mixed in the pool's saline solution are methane bubbles and toxic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide. Underwater rovers that venture to the depths of despair only float along the surface of the pool, kind of like how people float in the Dead Sea.
For marine life that may stray farther into the toxic water, their lives are cut short but preserved kind of like a pickle.
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